For all the unquestionable beauty of our ubiquitous natural surroundings, even the Front Range and Garden of the Gods can become hard to truly see. Like “THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED BARN IN AMERICA” in Don Delillo’s novel White Noise, the local scenery can become little more than advertisements for long-held ideas about the local scenery:

“Once you’ve seen the signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn.”

He fell silent once more. People with cameras left the elevated site, replaced by others.

We’re not here to capture an image, we’re here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies.”

There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides.

“Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We’ve agreed to be part of a collective perception. It literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism.”

Another silence ensued.

“They are taking pictures of taking pictures,” he said.

He did not speak for a while. We listened to the incessant clicking of shutter release buttons, the rustling crank of levers that advanced the film.

“What was the barn like before it was photographed?” he said.

We found ourselves wondering the same thing about our landscape as we wandered through Garden of the Gods on a warm, late afternoon last week as the sun was just about to drop behind Pikes Peak and we caught some lens flare while trying not to focus. Perhaps the incredible bulk of America’s Mountain wants to be a telepathic cyclops for Halloween, or a light science fiction afternoon.

 

4 Responses to Return to Space Mountain

  1. sean says:

    no words.

  2. atomic elroy says:

    Excellent video.

  3. marc says:

    Gorgeous. Thank you for making and sharing this. Sweet n spooky sentimental simulacra!!

  4. chris fiedler says:

    gorgeous work noel! simply stunning.

News

AP
July 26, 2016 | NPR · Australia’s prime minister asked for an investigation into how teenage prisoners are treated after a national news program broadcast video of young people hooded and shackled.
 

July 26, 2016 | NPR · Some police shooting victims like Alton Sterling and Philando Castile become national symbols. Their faces are splashed across the media, and their names become hashtags. So why are others forgotten?
 

Rob Dobi for NPR
July 26, 2016 | NPR · For Bill Clinton, a return to the White House could look much like his life does now as a former president.
 

Arts & Life

Netflix
July 26, 2016 | NPR · It’s about time again for the Television Critics Association to meet in California, and we have a preview of the week to come.
 

Ruby Wallau
July 26, 2016 | NPR · Jenni Fagan’s latest follows a transgender girl and her mother in a near-future world that’s slowly freezing to death. Fagan makes potent but subtle links between climate change and personal change.
 

Getty Images
July 26, 2016 | NPR · The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like “After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore).”
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
July 26, 2016 | NPR · Spirit Adrift communes with the wide-eyed expanse of American doom-metal.
 

Courtesy of the artist
July 26, 2016 | NPR · The sassy agent of rock ‘n’ roll chaos turns in an uncharacteristically hushed and spare song that approaches the twisted path of passion and loss with a new, sober gravity.
 

Courtesy of the artists
July 26, 2016 | NPR · On this week’s All Songs Considered, we share songs that are punk in spirit, synth-fueled, noisy and touched with real-life tragedy.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab